Joy as crime rate plunges

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CRIME fell by a massive 10 per cent in Wigan last year.

A very slight increase in burglaries aside, there were big drops in robberies, violence and vehicle offences.

The downward trend was reflected across Greater Manchester as a whole with 16,529 fewer victims of crime between October 2010 and September 2011 than over the previous 12 months.

The most significant decrease in Wigan L Division was in serious violent crime. Between October 2009 and September 2010 there were 248 such incidents reported, but over the following 12 months this figure fell to 164 - a decrease of 34 per cent.

There was an 18 per cent drop in robberies too: 178 compared with 217 the year before.

Theft of and from vehicles plummeted by 10.3 per cent from 2,355 to 2,111.

The number of burglars barely changed: 1,261 being just five (0.5 per cent) higher than the 2009-10 total.

Overall in Wigan there were 18,487 crimes reported in Wigan in the year up to the end of last September. The year before it had been 20,596 so the borough enjoyed a 10.2 per cent drop of 2,109 fewer reported offences.

Chief Supt Shaun Donnellan of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “I am delighted that we have seen reductions in nearly all the main crime types, and I hope that people will be reassured by these figures as they mean fewer victims and safer communities all round.

“Regarding the small increase in burglary, we are working tirelessly to tackle this crime, and are running frequent patrols in high-risk areas and numerous operations to target offenders across the borough.

“Residents are reminded to put the alarm on, lock all doors and windows and leave a light on when leaving their homes empty. Timer switches should also be set to turn lights and radios on and off.

“You can register valuables at www.immobilise.com and security mark them with your postcode and house number or vehicle registration number. You should also keep a record of the make, model and serial number of such items.”

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “We continue to listen to what our communities are telling us and remain committed to delivering the results that they want. For example, when metal thefts were increasing, we launched Operation Alloy which has pro-actively disrupted the activities of criminals.”

Alloy was launched after metal theft offences peaked in May 2011 to 870. By December there were 540 fewer offences (a drop of 62 per cent) across Greater Manchester.